SA’s Tshimologong Precinct launches Mine.D hackathon

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The Johannesburg-based Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct has partnered RIIS to host Mine.D: Zero Harm, a digitally-inspired three day hackathon in November focused on Mixed Reality (MR) and Internet of Things (IoT) within the health and safety space of the mining sector.

Disrupt Africa reported Wits University opened the doors to the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in September last year, with the multi-million dollar hub offering startup incubation, digital skills training, and research opportunities.

Newly appointed chief executive officer (CEO) Lesley Donna Williams said the next wave of growth within the mining sector will be enabled by technology, with the manufacturing industries and natural resource sectors starting to take a human-centered approach and looking to technology to assist with improvements and innovative ways to move these industries forward.

“There is a significant role for technology to play within the mining sector. Looking at aspects of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and IoT alone can bring massive benefit to mines by eliminating time wasted, improving decision making, and automating approaches and procedures. This in turn, improves the quality of the work that people do,” she said.

Williams said the Mine.D Hackathon was initiated to bring digital technology closer to age-old mining processes and to identify ways in which technology can assist, grow and improve not only approaches, but specifically the concept of zero harm.

Clen Cook, managing partner of RIIS, said Mine.D was not born to reinvent mining, but to look at how digital technology can be embedded into current processes to affect a better outcome for all involved.

“We are aware of the sensitivities associated with the mining industry and as a result want to look for ways that technologies such as Mixed Reality can assist in improving the health and safety for all involved,” he said.

Mine.D is open to anyone who has an interest in developing technology approaches for the mining sector focused on Mixed Reality and IoT in the health and safety space. Between 50 and 70 participants will be selected, after which the top three will be chosen to move forward. Interested parties can enter here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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